Maple’s Turkey Trot benefits fitness, causes

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Friends lined the finishers’ chute on Tuesday at Maple Elementary School’s annual Turkey Trot. The fundraising event introduces youngsters to running sports and the fun of being part of a team.

CAMBRIDGE — Maple Elementary School got the holiday off to a running start with the annual Turkey Trot race on Tuesday. The event not only raises money for local causes, it also aims to get young children on track for fitness and fun on sports teams.

Cambridge-South Dorchester’s cross country team was there to help guide the 301 younger students, who ran a one-mile course. Faizan Ahmed, who once ran in the elementary school’s events, remembered how much the visiting Vikings meant to him in his younger days.

“I would look up to the runners and be star-struck,” he said. The experience made a lasting impression on him, one that he and his teammates passed on to the Maple Lions.

“They can create their own family, the way I did,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of something.”

Each of the 301 children in the race donated a couple of dollars, which provided support to other groups. Maple teacher and race organizer Ryan Daniels made donations to the C-SD team, Dorchester Lacrosse and the YMCA’s karate program, in honor of ZaVion Spriggs, who passed away earlier this year.

Zavion was a skilled lacrosse player and enthusiastic member of the karate dojo at the YMCA.

Winners
Pre-K — Royal Moment, Charlee’ Stanley
K — Erick Martinez Lopez, Amiya Bloodsworth
1st — Isaiah Harvey, Chelcit Pineda
2nd — Jahsi Diaz, Cecilia King
3rd — Brian Pierce Bailey, Vida Jean
4th — Oriana Mejia, Jaasiel Scharon
5th — Christina Antonio, Izmael Moran Cruz

Overall mile winners were Jaasiel Scharon, with a time of 7:44; and Vida Jean, in 7:52. Jahsi Diaz and Cecilia King were the fastest over the half-mile course, and were not timed.

Snacks at the event were donated by C. Albert Matthews.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.